The recipe for "porpo bria'o", or how to cook stewed octopus

The recipe for “porpo bria’o”, or how to cook stewed octopus

Modular Wine rack for 12 bottles

In Livorno they call it “porpo bria’o”. It is in Tuscany, in fact, that you can taste it: in those restaurants and trattorias that have the local culinary traditions at heart, just like the cacciucco or the anchovies are to the poor. Dishes that speak of the past and authentic flavours that we’ll like to try to prepare with you.

Of course, there are variations of this recipe – such as the Sicilian one, ‘u purpu ‘mpriacu – all equally delicious… What matters is to recover and keep alive the customs of the past so as not to lose sight of our history and, at the same time, bring to the table dishes full of taste and easy to prepare.

Cleaning and cooking an octopus is not particularly difficult and the ingredients are simple and genuine. The fundamental thing is that the raw material, that is the mollusc, is very fresh so it will be tender and will absorb the flavour of the seasoning well!

Ingredients for two people

  • 2 octopuses of 350 gm each
  • 2 glasses of quality red wine
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • chili pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • aromas (celery and carrot as appropriate)
  • tomato sauce
  • a pinch of salt
  • fresh parsley
  • slices of toasted bread

How to clean the octopus?

Wash it well under running water, taking care to remove the central tooth, eyes, bowels and the slippery patina that covers it. If you do not like this operation, you can ask the fish seller at the market to clean it for you at the time of purchase.

For the last time, pass it effectively under running water and transfer it on to the cutting board!

How to cook the stewed octopus?

Stewed octopus is perfect as a single course, but you can also choose to match it with pasta. In the first case, the advice is to cut it into rather large pieces; on the contrary, if you want to make the dressing for a first course, better cut it into smaller pieces and add tomato sauce to it. It goes without saying that the cooking time will also change… whatever you choose; place the octopus – one at a time – on the cutting board: if you feel it fibrous, you can beat it with a meat hammer to break its filaments, otherwise you can proceed to break it up.

To help you in this step, we suggest you to use the Woody chopping board: it is made of wood, 2 cm thick and, therefore, particularly resistant; moreover, it is double-sided i.e. you can use it on both sides and has a hole, embellished with a coloured ring, which allows you to hang it without stealing space in the kitchen.

Once the octopus has been cut into pieces, you can put a thick pot on the stove and add the extra virgin olive oil with the aromas to make a light sauce. Then add the scaled garlic, chopped shallot, chopped chili pepper and bay leaves.

When the ingredients appear brown, put the pieces of octopus in the pot. Let them brown over a cheerful flame so that they can release the water that the mollusc contains by its very nature. As soon as it is withdrawn, pour in the two glasses of red wine and let the alcohol evaporate. At this point, you can put the lid on and let it cook over low heat for half an hour or about forty minutes.

If the sauce withdraws too much, add a little ‘hot water from the tap and carefully watch the cooking times because they can vary depending on the size of the pieces you cut the octopus into.

If you decide to prepare the stewed octopus as a condiment for pasta, it is time to add the tomato sauce and leave the pot on the heat a little more … Just enough time to remove the smell of tomato preservatives, if you used the one in a can.

When the octopus is cooked to perfection (and still very soft!), Sprinkle the chopped fresh parsley and a pinch of salt to your taste.

Let it rest for a few moments then serve at the table – even leaving the octopus in the pot – with slices of toasted bread.

Our suggestions

Order the ultra durable design bottle cellar so you can keep up to 12 bottles of wine in the kitchen in good order. And even in plain sight, if you like to have a chat with friends in the kitchen while you prepare your food.

So why not sip some good red wine even before sitting down at the table for dinner? The right idea can be to do it using the wine glasses of the Diamond line: they come in sets of 4 and you can use them for both wine and water. Made of acrylic material, they are particularly resistant and their diamond-like craftsmanship recalls the shapes of the ancient crockery… To give a touch of class to a dish with a more rustic flavour


Have a nice weekend from Omada!



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